Energon Toy Reviews: Constructicon Maximus

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Constructicon, Decepticon, Energon, Superlink

Energon

General Information:
Release Year: 2004
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: Approximately $40 altogether (Depending on Retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2
Accessories: Included with individual figures

Images:

The first combiner introduced in the Transformers series was Devastator. Comprised of six Construction vehicles, his transformation pattern remains unique to this day. Some of the G1 combiners released later such as Superion would employ a method of transformation where any limb could be swapped out for another, meaning a character who transformed into an arm could also become a leg and vice versa. In Japan, these types of special teams were featured in an animated short known as "Scramble City", leading some fans to refer to this transformation style as a "Scramble City" type. Although inspired by Devastator, Constructicon Maximus' transformation is based on the "Scramble City" type.

Before reading this review, it would be helpful to take a look at the reviews for each individual component: Bonecrusher, Duststorm, Sledge, Steamhammer and Wideload.

Steamhammer transformation (Starting with robot mode):

  • Swing the robot feet up.
  • Swing the lower robot legs up, revealing the blue connector pieces.
  • Swing the robot head back and swing the cover over it.
  • Swing the chest plate forward, detaching it from the piece with the treads and robot head.
  • Swing the right arm up at the elbow joint, then swing that arm in. Connect it to the chest piece via the peg in hole.
  • Swing the elbow of the shovel arm up so the shovel is facing forward, then swing it in so the shovel now faces to the side. Connect it to the chest piece via the peg in hole.
  • Swing the chest piece back down and hook it up to the peg in the center of the waist piece.
  • Swing the tread piece up and attach it to the peg on the right arm.
  • Swing open the driver's section piece on top to reveal Construction Maximus' head.

Bonecrusher/Sledge transformation to arm (Starting with vehicle mode):

  • Attach the Energon claw weapon to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Swing the claw up and extend the handle out to form a thumb.
  • Swing the shovel up slightly.
  • Angle the connection point underneath the shovel to the side and attach to one of the blue connection points on Steamhammer.

Bonecrusher/Sledge transformation to leg (Starting with vehicle mode):

  • Attach the Energon claw weapon to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Swing the claw completely up and the handle back.
  • Swing the shovel up slightly.
  • Angle the connection point underneath the shovel to the side and attach to one of the blue connection points on Steamhammer.

Duststorm/Wideload transformation (Starting with vehicle mode):

  • Attach the claw to the end of the crane arm.
  • On the rear of the vehicle angle the connection hole and connect it to one of the blue connection points on Steamhammer.
  • To transform into a leg, swing the claw back and swing the front halves of the vehicle out flat and connect the connection point to Steamhammer.

Constructicon Maximus:
If you have seen his component parts in their various modes, very little of Constructicon Maximus' form will come as a surprise. Constructicon Maximus has an interesting design. The central body piece formed by Steamhammer is probably the most G1 Devastator inspired section. This is partly due to the color scheme. He uses a similar bright green color as the one found on the G1 Constructicons. The chest being colored purple is very reminscent of Devastator's chest component. Constructicon Maximus' head design harks back to one of the original Constructicons: Bonecrusher. He had a visor eyes design, but instead of a regular mouthplate, he had an upside down U shaped mouthpiece with a chin piece coming out of it just like Constructicon Maximus does. Whether by design or accident, this is a nice visual connection to Constructicon Maximus' G1 roots.

Since there are two of the same vehicle for each limb, you can combine Constructicon Maximus into an asymmetrical or symmetrical form. The good thing is that either way you do it, the figure remains stable when standing. I generally prefer using the Bonecrusher/Sledge sculpt for the arms, mainly because I prefer the three clawed hands over the pincer like claws on the Duststorm/Wideload arms. The only difficulty you may have is combining the larger Bonecrusher/Sledge figure as the left arm. Because of the shovel on the shoulder, the shovel on Bonecrusher/Sledge limits how you can pose the arm. Also, you may have to swing the wheels on Bonecrusher/Sledge to get a good pose and fit. It's not as inconvenient as I'm making it sound here, but it is worth mentioning.

Constructicon Maximus has fourteen to sixteen points of articulation in this form. The reason I say it like that is that you lose a point of articulation if you use Duststorm or Wideload as arms since they only use a pincer claw as opposed to Bonecrusher and Sledge's finger and thumb claw hands. Some posability is gained from Steamhammer's design, which allows waist articulation along with two different points of upper leg articulation. A smart design decision was made when the limbs all had connectors that could angle, allowing for extra posability built into each limb.

For the most part, the colors on this figure work together well. Steamhammer, Sledge and Wideload all blend well since they have various shades of green. Duststorm blends a bit since he is mostly blue and all the Energon parts are blue (making it a color distributed all over the giant). However, Bonecrusher is probably the piece that stands out the most since his brown colors contrast sharply with the rest of the figure.

Unlike combiners of the past, Constructicon Maximus does not come with a weapon all his own. Instead he largely relied on the Energon play pattern of using weapons from other Energon figures with universal pegs and holes. Since all five figures have these pegs and holes, it allows you to really arm the combiner to the teeth and it looks really cool to boot. You can of course also attach Mini-Cons onto some of the pegs (such as those on Wideload and Duststorm).

Final Thoughts:
Constructicon Maximus is a great example of how combiners can still be done right and in a fun way in the modern age of Transformers. Combiners are somewhat rare in the main line of Transformers nowadays, so having him (and two others) of the "Scramble City" type in "Energon" was a treat. The aftermarket prices on these particular figures have not gone up significantly either, and they have already been given new decos and released as a Wal-mart exclusive in 2007, giving fans another chance to purchase these cool figures. Recommended, but be warned if you want the Energon versions you will have to hunt each piece down separately.